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Date set for public ambulance meeting

Task force continues work on county’s EMS puzzle

A date has been set for the Day County Ambulance Task Force’s community presentation. Finding an open date on the calendar was a challenge, considering the number of school, sports and church activities in addition to coordinating with their research experts, according to one task force volunteer, especially considering they want as many members of the public in attendance as possible.

Mike Grosek said the public meeting will be held Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the community room of the Day County Courthouse. He said this is the meeting where the public will hear from the consulting firm, SafeTech Solutions as well as proposals from the task force. Grosek said the task force has been working on solutions to the future of the county’s emergency medical service conundrum.

During a Jan. 13 task force meeting, Grosek said one development that has occurred is the indicated willingness by elected county officials to potentially set up a future ambulance service through a county ownership model. Grosek said task force members who attended that meeting last week expressed enthusiasm at that possibility but added it was only one piece of the puzzle.

If that does become the case, Grosek said other things that will need to fit into place include a management structure – such as if the county wishes to oversee the operation or if there will be an overseer board. A key piece, Grosek said he feels confident will be needed is a leader, or person in a manager type position to be involved in the day-to-day operations.

Yet another point to be figured out, one of the largest parts of the puzzle, Grosek said is the yearly expenses associated with running an ambulance, not to mention the startup costs. Whatever is set up, Grosek said the task force is looking at creating a separate account to be used as a fundraising tool. He said larger donations could be made there, with the hope something like the ambulance fund being considered by people when planning their wills. Even if it’s not a large amount, Grosek said things add up over time.

While there is still no concrete direction about how Federal COVID relief dollars can be spent, Grosek said the task force remains hopeful guidelines will open soon and that the purchase of the ambulance equipment needed to start up a county emergency medical service would be one way those funds could be spent. Grosek said the task force has begun negotiations with current Christensen Ambulance Service owners about the potential of buying the equipment from them.

Owners Mark and Renae Christensen have previously indicated they will retire and close Christensen Ambulance Service by year’s end. They are the only emergency medical service provider in Day County.

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